Brill’s Encyclopedia of China

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Managing Editor English Edition: Daniel Leese

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Brill’s Encyclopedia of China Online is based on the originally a thousand-page reference work on China with a clear focus on the modern period from the mid-nineteenth century to the 21st century. Written by the world’s top scholars, Brill’s Encyclopedia of China is the first place to look for reliable information on the history, geography, society, economy, politics, science, and culture of China.

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Old Age

(1,551 words)

Author(s): Thorborg, Marina
According to Confucian ethics, piety or the love of children ( xiao) was a cardinal virtue, i.e. children owed obedience to their parents and respect to older family members. Therefore it was a matter of course that in the old China the family provided not just for its young, but also for its old members. In contrast to the situation in the West, it was expected of all sons to remain living with their parents. The daughters moved out when they got married and carried the psychological burden of adapting to…